Category Archives: Culture

Study shows that very gifted students are often cheated by America’s educational system — with the press release’s excellent video interview of the study’s lead author, Professor David Lubinski 0

© 2014 Peter Free Citation — to study Harrison J. Kell, David Lubinski, and Camilla P. Benbow, Who Rises to the Top? Early Indicators, Psychological Science 24(5): 648-659, DOI: 10.1177/0956797612457784 (26 March 2014) Citation — to press release Jane Sevier and Joan Brasher, 30-year study reveals clues to the exceptional child’s journey, Research News at […]

A simple intervention reduces political polarization — by making people read political arguments in hard to decipher print fonts 0

Citation — to study Ivan Hernandez and Jesse Lee Preston, Disfluency disrupts the confirmation bias, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 49(1): 178-182 (January 2013) Citation — to press release Diana Yates, Difficult-to-read font reduces political polarity, study finds, University of Illinois (02 November 2012) Background — what is confirmation bias? From the abstract: One difficulty […]

Study of mobile phone use reveals striking difference in pattern of female versus male “top three” relationships over the life span 0

Citation © 2012 Vasyl Palchykov, Kimmo Kaski, Janos Kertész, Albert-László Barabási, and Robin I. M. Dunbar, Sex differences in intimate relationships, Science Reports [at Nature.com] 2(370), doi:10.1038/srep00370 (19 April 2012) (at abstract) Summary of this study’s findings Aging women appear to alter their youthful, mate-centered, hierarchy of close relationships to a subsequent one that exhibits […]

A surprising (and questionable) finding — two-thirds of Ontario and Nova Scotia paramedics are subjected to abuse, while doing their jobs 0

A maybe not so rigorous survey of Canadian EMS workers A Canadian, in-conference, survey of 1,381 Ontario and Nova Scotia emergency service workers (apparently emergency medical technicians and paramedics, 70 percent of whom were male and had 10-years experience) discovered that: 67 percent had been verbally abused, 41 percent had been subjected to intimidation, 26 […]

The more self-adulatory hot air you blow, the better you do in the corporate world? — Apparently so, says Columbia Business School 0

Sad news for women, who deserve better based on their actual performances Men’s “honest” overconfidence gets them promoted to leadership over similarly competent women: Reuben and his coresearchers . . . asked MBA students to complete a set of math problems on which both men and women perform about the same. One year later, the […]

Satellite pictures show remains of pre-Islamic mud-brick cities, dating from AD 1 to 500, in the Libyan desert — this find reportedly challenges the Roman Empire’s characterization of Libya’s Garamantes civilization as nomadically barbarian 0

Your “barbarian” was my desert sophisticate The University of Leicester (England) reported that: “Satellite imagery has given us the ability to cover a large region. The evidence suggests that the climate has not changed over the years and we can see that this inhospitable landscape with zero rainfall was once very densely built up and cultivated. […]

Society’s bias against creativity apparently confirmed by two small (as yet unpublished) psychology experiments 0

Saying one thing and doing another Science Daily reported on a soon-to-be published research by Jack Goncalo, Shimul Melwani, and Jennifer Mueller: “How is it that people say they want creativity but in reality often reject it?” said Jack Goncalo . . . co-author of research to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal […]

DailyTech reports that Kindle now outsells print books on Amazon.com 0

That was quick Since April 1, Amazon has sold 105 Kindle books for every 100 print books sold. These numbers include books that have no Kindle edition. Also, for all of 2011 so far, Amazon has had the fastest year-over-year growth rate for its books business due to the overwhelming Kindle sales and steady print […]

The difficulty of a Bolivian coca farmer’s life — Al Jazeera’s video presentation about “Risking it all: The flying men of Yungas valley” 0

Bolivian mountain poverty necessitates physical risks and difficult family lives Riding the 400 meter long cables the farmers use to cross the river canyon to get to their coca fields are challenging enough.  The bus ride they have take to market on a narrow and precipitous road is scarier still. Al Jazeera did an outstanding […]

Language and nuclear disaster — the Japanese language’s use of honorifics may reveal a parallel tendency to defer taking charge 0

Is our barbarians’ English better suited to efficient, emergency communication? Read what Minae Mizumura said in regard to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster: One unlikely side-effect of the Japanese crisis has been a new critique of our use of honorifics. One tends to associate honorifics with social hierarchy, but they play another critical role: they […]